Category The Past

The Nutcracker

It was a normal Monday off for me yesterday, so I took the opportunity to put up our Christmas tree.  Doing so as a child, we always put on Christmas music and made it a family affair – even so, I think we managed, in our incredibly musical household that loved Christmas more than just […]

Greats Provide Access to the Past

Sunday night Michael and I watched a 2013 episode of Live from Lincoln Center on Youtube – the episode featured a chamber music setting for a tribute to Mendelsohn, the great composer.  Playing for us were none other than Emanuel Ax on the piano, Yo Yo Ma on the cello, and Izhak Perlman on the […]

The Shriner, a Drummer

Long ago I worked for a Shriner.  We were involved in law enforcement – private contractors, if you will, operating out of the Shriner’s home basement office.  I was the office grunt for the mercenary operation; we provided electronic monitoring to people who had some resources and who gamed the system well enough to avoid […]


I started re-reading The Black Swan yesterday, a 2007 book by Nassim Taleb (updated in 2012 after the events of 9/11).  The book is brilliant; it’s an exposition on the problems, beauty, and impact of the highly improbable.  Taleb is not exploring improbability in the absurd but brilliant way that Douglas Adams did with the […]

Musical Me: An Anniversary

One year ago today I started Musical Me. It was a Monday, a normal day off for me, and I remember sitting on the couch pining over the loss of our cat Mischka, which had occurred just over a week before.  I was also bored, and trying to come up with something to write about.  […]

Nostalgia and Ignorance

The CDs I ordered from my 20th high school reunion (which I did not attend) came last week.  As I listened to them yesterday morning, I knew every single song.  For some it took me a moment to remember, for several I had to look up the artist.  But there they are, every single one […]

Paganini Is Next

In yesterday’s lesson I made it through the rest of Schumann’s The Two Grenadiers, and it’s a lot of fun.  It’s the first piece I’ve learned that contains a key change – the song (and yes, it’s really a song) starts in D minor and changes to D major a little over halfway through.  D […]

An Old School Musical Party Favor

Last weekend was my 20th high school reunion – the Wichita High School East Class of 1994.  As it was for many people, high school was an odd time for me.  My school world was never my real life when I was a child; my church world was my real life.  But, like most of […]

Who Played the Oldest Flute in the World?

I love antique instruments. Old things in general interest me, as they do most people – some of my most memorable experiences in museums come from standing in front of an object that was never intended to last as long as it has, that has no equals, that, for this modern epoch of history at […]

The Dave Matthews Band

One good thing about my lack of musical passion over the years is that I’ve never spent any energy on hating popular acts the way some people seem to need to do.  Justin Bieber?  Never heard one of his songs.  Brittney?  Same.  Going further back in time we can look at New Kids on the […]